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12 September 2017

CEC to decertify the candidates who have problems with the law

The Central Election Commission (CEC), in the meeting held yesterday, discussed on the decertification of the candidates who have problems with the law. The Law on General Elections, adopted in 2008, stipulates that any persons found guilty of a criminal offence by a final court decision in the past three (3) years, is not eligible to be certified as candidate to run for elections. The eligibility to be elected, guaranteed by the Constitution is in this case, denied due to the court's decision.

Nine years after the adoption of the Law on General Elections, the CEC has never made verifications if the candidates satisfy all the criteria needed to run for elections. The first attempts to clear up the list of political entities are now being made. On this occasion, CEC requested from the Basic Courts of Kosovo to verify 7068 candidates that have been certified to run for local elections, whether they have been convicted of a criminal offense in the past three (3) years. The courts have found that 86 of them have been found guilty in the past three years (3).

Some of the CEC members have been reluctant to take the decision on the decertification of these candidates, being referred to the nature of these actions and requesting for the same to be divided into categories. Regardless of whether there may be any remarks in the law, and as such, it needs amendments through electoral reform that for years is being dragged on by political parties, the CEC is obliged to enforce law as it is and to not challenge the court decisions. The CEC is not a legislative institution, so that through its decisions supplements legal provisions, nor a judicial institution to re-verify decisions of candidates' criminal offenses. Therefore, we urge the CEC to respect the law and in its conformity to make a decision for the decertification of all candidates who do not satisfy the certification criteria. Kosovo citizens should be offered clean lists from those candidates who have problems with the law.